In one of Australia’s largest dairy regions, two friends were having a very tough time. With indomitable spirit, Sallie Jones and Steve Ronalds decided to fight for their livelihood and community their own way. Premium dairy brand Gippsland Jersey is the result. Kim Berry speaks with Sallie Jones.

Consumer industry mergers and acquisitions in February topped $15.4 billion (US$9.13 billion), GlobalData's latest report said. Pepsico and Mondelez featured in the top five deals.

Unilever has announced a range of measures to support efforts in combatting COVID-19 to the value of just over $1 billion. CEO Alan Jope said: “As the world’s biggest soap company, we have a responsibility to help.”

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will retire AUSkey this Friday, 27 March, and is calling on businesses to make the switch to myGovID and authorisation service Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM).

Food forum ministers have asked Food Standards Australia New Zealand to review its draft for pregnancy warning labels on alcohol, suggesting the proposed model could place an “unreasonable cost” on the industry.

National organic industry body Australian Organic is standing with the National Farmers’ Federation and calling on the government to recognise agriculture and the food supply chain to be deemed as an essential service, in response to COVID-19 measures.

Coles Group subsidiary Chef Fresh has been given the green light by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to acquire chilled ready meals manufacturer Jewel Fine Foods, which has been in voluntary administration since April 2019.

Diageo is pledging more than eight million bottles of sanitiser for front line healthcare workers globally, while Queensland rum producer Beenleigh Rum will also join the war against coronavirus by making ethanol to fuel sanitiser supply across the state.

Woolworths Group has closed its hotels business indefinitely and will delay the demerger of its Endeavour Group business until 2021, following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its business.

The ACCC has granted interim authorisation for supermarkets to be able to coordinate immediately to ensure consumers have reliable and fair access to groceries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Australia’s biggest brewers Lion, Carlton & United Breweries and Coopers Brewery will remain fully operational, with a focus on ensuring supply to consumers and supporting partner venues.

Coles will be donating the retail value of $1 million a week worth of food and groceries to Foodbank and SecondBite to distribute across Australia for those who are vulnerable as a result of COVID-19.

More beverage producers are doing their part to help meet hand sanitiser demand, with Fonterra, Spinifex Brewing and Limestone Coast Brewing all stepping in to produce supplies needed across Australia and New Zealand.

Fonterra Co-operative Group released its 1H20 results this week, cutting its interim dividend due to COVID-19. The group's financial performance improved but uncertainty around the virus's impact on 2H20 drove the board's decision not to pay the dividend.

Alcohol producers around the world are helping meet high demand of hand sanitisers as a result of COVID-19, including Sydney’s own Manly Spirits Co Distillery, as well as Bacardi.